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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - GSAC Game #7
Sunbirds 87, The Master's College 85

Box score

Santa Clarita - Lesego Molebatsi's career-high 31 points, including the winning shot with three seconds to play, lifted the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds to an 87-85 Golden State Athletic Conference win over The Master's College in Santa Clarita tonight.

It was the second consecutive winning shot for the senior from Bloemfontein, South Africa. On Saturday Molebatsi scored FPU's final seven points in a 70-69 win over Vanguard, including the winning free throw with nine seconds to play.

"We still have to tighten up our defense," said FPU head coach Clark Sheehy. "But anytime you win on the road is great. The guys are working hard and hopefully we can build some momentum from this. We have two more very tough games this week."

FPU opened the game with 26-15 run, but the hosts responded with a 24-8 run of their own to make it 49-34. The Mustangs led 41-40 at the break.

The game was tied eight times in the final 20 minutes. Both teams led by as many as five points, but no lead seemed safe.

A pair of Molebatsi free throws gave FPU an 85-82 lead with 36 seconds to play, but Ryan Read erased that with a 3-pointer 18 seconds later.

Sheehy called time-out, put the ball in Molebatsi's hands, and the senior scored a layup with three seconds left.

Read's desperation 3-pointer from half-court at the buzzer was close, but not close enough.

Molebatsi was 11-14 from the field, including 3-3 from beyond the 3-point arc, and added 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. He also hauled down eight rebounds.

Moustafa El Zanaty was 8-11 from the field, including 4-5 from long range for his 20 points. Josh Urbiztondo almost notched a double-double with 12 points and 9 assists. Rudy Lopez added 12 points for the winners.

Read led the hosts with 26 points. Giovanni St. Amant added 24 points.

The Sunbirds next two opponents faced off tonight in Azusa. The third ranked Azusa Pacific University Cougars suffered only their second loss of the season, a 62-59 decision to the San Diego Christian College Hawks.

The Sunbirds host the Cougars (16-2, 7-1) in the Special Events Center Thursday night then travel to San Diego to take on the Hawks (13-3, 7-1) Saturday.

Updated Records
Sunbirds: 10-5, 3-4 (W2)
The Master's: 8-8, 3-4 (L1)

Updated Series
Tonight's contest is the 71st in a series that dates back to December 7, 1968. The Sunbirds now hold a 41-30 advantage.

Next Game
Thursday, January 19 (7:30) - The Sunbirds will host the Azusa Pacific University Cougars.

Next Home Game
Thursday, January 19 (7:30) - The Sunbirds will host the Azusa Pacific University Cougars.


Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

Opponent - Score - Record
Westminster T
Westminster T
Idaho State
Fresno State
California Baptist *
CSU Monterey Bay
Holy Names
Westmont *
Biola *
The Master's *
San Diego Chr *
Concordia *
Pt Loma Naz *
Vanguard *
Azusa Pacific *
Hope International *
* GSAC contest

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